Legendary guitarist, songwriter, and frontman of The Band Robbie Robertson has died aged 80.
The rocker led the Canadian-American band to prominence in the 1970s, and alongside his singing and songwriting mastery, was considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Hailing from Toronto, over his illustrious career Robertson collaborated with musical greats like Bob Dylan, as well as filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
According to a statement by his management seen by Variety, Robertson died Wednesday after a long illness.
In a statement, Robertson’s manager of 34 years, Jared Levine, said: ‘Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including his wife, Janet, his ex-wife, Dominique, her partner Nicholas, and his children Alexandra, Sebastian, Delphine, and Delphine’s partner Kenny. He is also survived by his grandchildren Angelica, Donovan, Dominic, Gabriel, and Seraphina.
‘Robertson recently completed his fourteenth film music project with frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Six Nations of the Grand River to support the building of their new cultural center.’
Robertson was best known as the leader of The Band, the five-piece rockers behind hits such as The Weight, Chest Fever, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Up on Cripple Creek.
After the Band’s farewell concert in 1976 was captured on film by Taxi Driver director Martin, Robertson went on to collaborate on many projects with the famous filmmaker.
He worked as composer, music supervisor, and music producer on films such as Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Irishman.
Robertson was credited for shaping the sound of the Americana genre, blending country, folk, blues, and rock music with his songwriting.
The legendary musician was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Band in 1994.
Fans are now flooding social media to express their grief, with comedian Danny Baker writing: ‘Written by Robbie Robertson, Acadian Driftwood is one of the greatest songs of my lifetime, and that includes The Beatles, Irving Berlin and anyone else you can name. An epic as expansive as the talent of its author.’
Another said: ‘RIP Robbie Robertson one of the greatest song writers of all time and who wrote arguably the greatest and one of the most covered songs of all time. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.’
‘R.I.P. Robbie Robertson, a Canadian king, a rock & roll legend in his own right, and dedicated collaborator of Dylan and Scorsese. We’re losing too many greats.’ wrote another.
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